Winter Review!

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SOME SPOILERS AHEAD! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

My most anticipated release of 2015, easy. I was going into this book with the highest of expectations and I was not disappointed. Winter is 825 pages that will keep you invested until the final word. I thank Marissa for this epic series and getting me back into YA SciFi/Fantasy almost two years ago and for delivering one of the best series finales I have ever read.

I loved the friendships in this book. It was nice seeing some unlikely friendships like Wolf and Kai throughout this final book. It helped make this group seem like more than just a rebellious army, but more like a group of friends coming together to fight a common enemy.

I love the relationship between Winter and Scarlet. Last we left Scarlet, she was a prisoner on Luna put on display for the Lunars to gawk at, almost like at a zoo. But, Winter tries to help Scarlet anyway she can and as the book goes on, that kindness extends to everyone in the Rampion crew. I loved Winter as a character and how incredibly strong she was even though she is labeled as crazy. Winter has willpower and morals to be envied, she refuses to use her Lunar glamor because she doesn’t want to manipulate people. Along with her kindness and willingness to help others, no matter who – or what- they are, makes her a new favorite.

The romantic relationships in this installment were just as sweet as ever. While I didn’t love Cress and Thorne in Cress, I found myself really loving them here! The whole scene where they stage as Lunars for the ball and Thorne gets kissed and is about to tell Cress he loves her, I just can’t. And that just intensified when he told Cinder to tell Cress “[he] meant it”, so cute. I loved seeing Wolf and Scarlet all awkward together again and the dialogue between them was just perfection. Cinder and Kai were like the power couple on the road to success and that we got to see them act like true leaders was a nice touch. I really like that they did not end up physically together at the end, I think Marissa’s writing style and storytelling is a bit more mature than that. She didn’t break them up or give them problems at all- which I loved- she gave them a “see you later”. Also, when Kai asked her about how she felt about being an empress…I was just brought back to the Cinder scene when he was trying to get her to go to the ball with him. Really great formatting(:. Jacin and Winter were also really great here, I liked seeing Jacin’s willingness to do whatever it took to keep Winter alive and well and seeing how much he was willing to sacrifice for her. He was one of the few Lunars to understand Winter and love her for who she truly was and their scenes were really great.

Levana. I have to. She was just too crazy. Levana is a great villain because she is truly batshit insane. I read Fairest at the beginning of the year and saw how honestly despicable she really is, but she went above and beyond in Winter. She was so desperate to become the overall ruler of well, everything, that she ordered executions and bombings and tighter controls that backfired on her, leading to her own death. I felt that Cinder was kind of like Katniss here as she had to be the one to kill the true villain of the story and it was so sweet when she did.

One of the other things that I loved was the setting of Luna. We have never spent so much time on the moon kingdom before this book so it was really interesting to see how it is set up and how it was different from the settings we’ve seen in the previous books. I also loved seeing Wolf’s mother and how she and the other town people still had hope for a brighter tomorrow even under Levana’s rule. I also loved it when the people who deserved to die or be imprisoned were (no spoilers here! (: ). And of course, Iko was just fabulous as always.

I could not be more happy with this ending and I can not wait for Marissa’s Alice in Wonderland retelling in Heartless! (And the novella bind-up, Stars Above)!

five-stars

 

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December Releases!

What do you want for Christmas? New books, duh. Here are some awesome books coming out in December to end 2015 off right (:

All summaries from Goodreads.com!


Their Fractured Light (Starbound #3) by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Published by Disney-Hyperion 12/1/15. 

fractured light

The final installment in the Starboard trilogy. This has been a weird and crazy ride but I am excited to see how it ends!

A year ago, Flynn Cormac and Jubilee Chase made the now infamous Avon Broadcast, calling on the galaxy to witness for their planet, and protect them from destruction. Some say Flynn’s a madman, others whisper about conspiracies. Nobody knows the truth. A year before that, Tarver Merendsen and Lilac LaRoux were rescued from a terrible shipwreck—now, they live a public life in front of the cameras, and a secret life away from the world’s gaze.

Now, in the center of the universe on the planet of Corinth, all four are about to collide with two new players, who will bring the fight against LaRoux Industries to a head. Gideon Marchant is an eighteen-year-old computer hacker—a whiz kid and an urban warrior. He’ll climb, abseil and worm his way past the best security measures to pull off onsite hacks that others don’t dare touch.

Sofia Quinn has a killer smile, and by the time you’re done noticing it, she’s got you offering up your wallet, your car, and anything else she desires. She holds LaRoux Industries responsible for the mysterious death of her father and is out for revenge at any cost.

When a LaRoux Industries security breach interrupts Gideon and Sofia’s separate attempts to infiltrate their headquarters, they’re forced to work together to escape. Each of them has their own reason for wanting to take down LaRoux Industries, and neither trusts the other. But working together might be the best chance they have to expose the secrets LRI is so desperate to hide. (from Goodreads.com)


Frozen Tides (Falling Kingdoms #4) by Morgan Rhodes. Published by Razorbill 12/15/15. 

frozen tides

If you haven’t yet started this series and entered Rhodes’ enchanting world of Mytica, then you are missing out. If you like Game of Thrones or just anything awesome in general, you should read this series.

WARNING: PLOT SUMMARY CONTAINS SPOILERS! 

Rebels, royals, and monsters wage war over the Mytican throne in the shocking fourth book of the Falling Kingdoms series, from New York Times bestselling author Morgan Rhodes.

CLEO: Reeling after a bloody showdown in Limeros ending with Amara’s abduction of the water crystal, and a vacancy in the Mytican throne, Princess Cleo must cast aside her feelings and look toward her kingdom with the eyes of a Queen.

MAGNUS: With the kingdom in chaos, Princess Lucia still missing and quite possibly in danger, and a shocking realization about Cleo, the steely prince is once again torn between love and duty, leaving him wondering whether he’s strong enough to rule his people.

LUCIA: The young sorcercess has had her vengeance after the cruel death of her first and only love. Heartbroken and unable to trust anyone, she allies with the awoken Fire god, who also seeks revenge.

JONAS: After escaping death by the skin of his teeth, the defeated rebel—along with a mysterious stranger–leader reunites with Princess Cleo, only to find himself a mere pawn in a dangerous hunt for the elusive Kindred.

KING GAIUS: Abandoned by Melenia and betrayed by his own children, Gaius flees Mytica and sails to Kraeshia, where he attempts to ally with the famously brutal emperor across the Silver Sea. (from Goodreads.com)


Untamed: A Splintered Companion (Splintered #3.5) by A.G. Howard. Published by Amulet Books 12/15/15. 

untamed aghoward

While the Splintered trilogy was not my absolute favorite, *cough* Jeb *cough*, I did love a lot of elements that went into this story and am excited to see a sort of epilogue that is unlike the one we got in Ensnared.

WARNING: PLOT SUMMARY MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS! 

Alyssa Gardner went down the rabbit hole and took control of her destiny. She survived the battle for Wonderland and the battle for her heart. In this collection of three novellas, join Alyssa and her family as they look back at their memories of Wonderland.

In Six Impossible Things, Alyssa recalls the most precious moments of her life after Ensnared, and the role magic plays in preserving the happiness of those she loves. Alyssa’s mother reminisces about her own time in Wonderland and rescuing the man who would become her husband in The Boy in the Web. And Morpheus delves into Jeb’s memories of the events of Splintered in The Moth in the Mirror, available in print for the first time.

This collection expands upon Ensnared’s epilogue, and includes some deleted scenes to provide a “director’s cut” glimpse into the past and futures of our favorite Splintered characters. (from Goodreads.com) 


See How They Run ( Embassy Row #2) by Ally Carter. Published by Scholastic Press 12/22/15.

see how they run ally carter

All Fall Down was not my favorite book, but that ending really made me excited for this one (: I can’t wait to see how the story picks up in this installment now that all the groundwork has been laid.

WARNING: PLOT SUMMARY CONTAINS SPOILERS

Inside every secret, there’s a world of trouble. Get ready for the second book in this new series of global proportions–from master of intrigue, New York Times bestselling author Ally Carter.

Grace’s past has come back to hunt her . . . and if she doesn’t stop it, Grace isn’t the only one who will get hurt. Because on Embassy Row, the countries of the world stand like dominoes, and one wrong move can make them all fall down.

The twists get twistier and the turns get even more shocking in the second thrilling installment of Embassy Row. (from Goodreads.com) 


Happy reading!

The Lies About Truth Review!

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In January, I picked up Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens and absolutely loved it. Everything about it just came together so well to make a product that was so beautiful and I adored it.

This is not like that book. I liked The Lies About Truth, and perhaps I expected way too much from it, but all I know is that I didn’t love it.

I felt like we were simply thrown into this story without any background info and we found out things as we went along through dialogue between the characters. I think that it would have been more attuned to Courtney’s beautiful writing style if she made that flashbacks, getting more into Sadie’s head as she did with Alexi. I also felt that there was a lot of moments where Courtney was simply telling us what was going on for sake of plot instead of showing us through her writing, as technique I loved in her debut. The characters also felt a little detached for me, I felt that I didn’t connect with Sadie as much as I would have liked to.

One of the high points of this book was definitely seeing Courtney’s exquisite writing again. She has an amazing way with using language to tell these stories of survival and finding (or re-finding) yourself. I also loved the interactions between these characters, especially Sadie and Gina. Seeing the rollercoaster those two went on throughout the story made it that much sweeter and satisfying when they made up at the end.

Overall, this book was just pretty good for me. I will still be reading Courtney’s books in the future and loving her writing style (:

four-stars_0

The Rose Society by Marie Lu

the rose society

Short little praise for one of my favorites of the year!

Words cannot express how much I adored this sequel to The Young Elites. It was simply that good.

I think that I liked Adelina’s darkness more here because she seems to be embracing it instead of fighting it as she did in TYE. Her character seemed more alive and interesting while she was embracing who she truly was and I loved that. I also loved the exploration into other cultures and the expansion of the setting that  was expertly woven in here by Marie. Like the Falling Kingdoms series by Morgan Rhodes, while her characters get stronger and better, they meet others like them from other lands with whom they will fight to achieve an ultimate goal. I am looking forward to seeing how far we will go in that aspect. I also loved seeing all the different types of powers on display by the characters and how they are used for good, and sometimes evil. I am glad that Marie took that route of making everyone different, it really added a unique quality to this world that should be precieved as so similar to other books if done a certain way.

Well done Marie (: Looking forward to the rest of this series!

five-stars

This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang

this is where the world ends

ARC provided by HarperCollins Children and Greenwillow Books through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

I would like to thank HarperCollins Children and Greenwillow Books for sending an ARC of this my way via Edelweiss. However, I just could not finish this.

Amy’s Falling Into Place was one of my absolute favorites in 2014. It was beautifully written and constructed with a grace that just seemed effortless. and was truly stunning (can you tell I really liked this one?) I raved about it to everyone that I knew who read and then some. So naturally, I was excited to read her sophomore novel and love it as well.

This is not that book. I am honestly finding it hard to believe that Amy wrote this or if it is just that much of an early copy that it has not gone through severe editing yet. I never expected this to be another Falling Into Place, but this was just ridiculous. This wasn’t even that I hyped it up in my head too much, it was just that unbelievable to me that the same person wrote this.

I DNF’d this at around 45-50% because I was just not interested anymore. The plot was interesting enough and I do want to know what actually happened at the end but I just could not bring myself to muddle through all the unnecessary crap in the middle. This book is told in alternating “before” and “after” chapters and while that usually is a good technique, you get very,very, VERY lost in this case. The characters were interesting enough but I just felt like they were always tip toeing around just being there instead of developing or truly interacting. My main issue however, was the slowness in pacing. There are so many parts of this book that it literally feels like nothing or just nonsensical things are happening. Amy could have made those scenes tie together better with the ones that are really relevant to the plot and made the story a little more coherent.

This book has SO much potential to be great, like Amy’s debut, but it just needs some workshopping and editing. I truly hope that this was just a very early copy and not what’s being published because I honestly believe that Amy is so much better than this.

Thank you again to HarperCollins Children and Greenwillow Books for providing me with an ARC from Edelweiss for this!

one_half-stars_0

Review Copies!

I have been on NetGalley for a while, but I only recently joined Edelweiss for e-ARCs of YA books. I requested a bunch of 2016 releases, and I was approved for a lot of them (: ! I also have some physical ARCs that I will be reading soon!  So here are some reviews to look for in the coming months:

ALL SUMMARIES FROM GOODREADS.COM!

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro. Published by HarperTeen. Release Date: March 1, 2016

a study in charlotte The last thing sixteen-year-old Jamie Watson–writer and great-great-grandson of the John Watson–wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s enigmatic, fiercely independent great-great-granddaughter, who’s inherited not just his genius but also his vices, volatile temperament, and expertly hidden vulnerability. Charlotte has been the object of his fascination for as long as he can remember–but from the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else.

Then a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Holmes stories, and Jamie and Charlotte become the prime suspects. Convinced they’re being framed, they must race against the police to conduct their own investigation. As danger mounts, it becomes clear that nowhere is safe and the only people they can trust are each other. (from Goodreads.com)

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers. Published by HarperTeen. Release Date: February 2, 2016.

assassins heart

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay. (from Goodreads.com)

The Word for Yes by Claire Needell. Published by HarperTeen. Release Date: February 16, 2016.

the word for yes

After their parents’ divorce, Jan, Erika, and Melanie have to get used to the new world order: a father who’s moved to another continent and a mother who throws herself into moving on. Jan, off at her first semester of college, has plenty to worry about, including an outspoken roommate who’s kind of “out there” and an increasingly depressed and troubled long-distance boyfriend. Her younger sisters, left at home in New York City, and dealing with all the pressures of life in high school, aren’t exactly close. Erika is serious and feels awkward and uncomfortable in crowds, though her beauty tends to attract attention. Melanie is socially savvy and just wants to go out—to concerts, to parties, wherever—with her friends. The gap between all three girls widens as each day passes.

Then, at a party full of blurred lines and blurred memories, everything changes. Starting that night, where there should be words, there is only angry, scared silence.

And in the aftermath, Jan, Erika, and Melanie will have to work hard to reconnect and help one another heal. (from Goodreads.com)

This is Where the World Ends by Amy Zhang. Published by Greenwillow Books. Release Date: March 22, 2016.

this is where the world ends

Janie and Micah, Micah and Janie. That’s how it’s been ever since elementary school, when Janie Vivian moved next door. Janie says Micah is everything she is not. Where Micah is shy, Janie is outgoing. Where Micah loves music, Janie loves art. It’s the perfect friendship, as long as no one finds out about it.

But when Janie is date-raped by the most popular guy in school—a guy she’s had a crush on for years—she finds herself ostracized by all the people she thought were her friends. Now only Micah seems to believe she’s telling the truth. But when even Micah expresses doubt about whether or not she was “asking for it,” it leads to disastrous consequences, and Janie Vivian goes missing. (from Goodreads.com)

The Leaving Season by Cat Jordan. Published by HarperTeen. Release Date: March 1, 2016.

the leaving season

Middie Daniels calls it the Leaving Season: the time of year when everyone graduates high school, packs up their brand-new suitcases, and leaves home for the first time.

This year Middie’s boyfriend Nate is the one leaving. Nate, who’s so perfect that she can barely believe it. Nate, who makes her better than she is on her own. Nate, who’s promised to come back once he’s finished his gap year volunteering in Central America. And when he does, it’ll be time for Middie to leave, too. With him.

But when a tragedy strikes, Middie’s whole world is set spinning. No one seems to understand just how lost she is… except for Nate’s slacker best friend Lee. Middie and Lee have never gotten along. But with the ground ripped out from under her, Middie is finding that up is down—and that Lee Ryan might be just what she needs to find her footing once more. (from Goodreads.com)

Dreamology by Lucy Keating. Published by HarperTeen. Release Date: April 12, 2016.

Dreamology

For as long as Alice can remember, she has dreamed of Max. Together they have traveled the world and fallen deliriously, hopelessly in love. Max is the boy of her dreams—and only her dreams. Because he doesn’t exist.

But when Alice walks into class on her first day at a new school, there he is. It turns out, though, that Real Max is nothing like Dream Max, and getting to know each other in reality isn’t as perfect as Alice always hoped.

When their dreams start to bleed dangerously into their waking hours, the pair realize that they might have to put an end to a lifetime of dreaming about each other. But when you fall in love in your dreams, can reality ever be enough? (from Goodreads.com)

The Lifeboat Clique by Kathy Parks. Published by Katherine Tegen Books. Release Date: March 1, 2016.

thelifeboatclique

Some people might say that Denver had a death wish. Why else would she have dared to sneak into a Malibu beach party where she’d be surrounded by enemies, namely including her ex-BFF Abigail?

Oh yeah. Croix. Denver never thought in a million years he’d ask her out, but who was she to question this miracle of fate? Well, that wasn’t the only surprise fate had in store.

During the party a tsunami hit the coast of California, wiping out everything in its path. Denver and a handful of others escaped death by holding onto the roof of the house and were swept out to sea. Of course, one of her fellow castaways was none other than Abigail, who could barely stand the sight of her.

Now that she’s floating in the ocean, stuck on a small boat with the most popular kids in school and waiting to be rescued, Denver wonders what might kill her first-dehydration, sunstroke, or the girl she used to think of as a sister? (from Goodreads.com)

The Mirror King (Orphan Queen #2) by Jodi Meadows. Published by Katherine Tegen Books. Release Date: April 5, 2016.

the mirror kingHER FRIENDS HAVE TURNED. After her identity is revealed during the Inundation, Princess Wilhelmina is kept prisoner by the Indigo Kingdom, with the Ospreys lost somewhere in the devastated city. When the Ospreys’ leader emerges at the worst possible moment, leaving Wil’s biggest ally on his deathbed, she must become Black Knife to set things right. 

HER MAGIC IS UNCONTROLLABLE. Wil’s power is to animate, not to give true life, but in the wraithland she commanded a cloud of wraith mist to save herself, and later ordered it solid. Now there is a living boy made of wraith—destructive and deadly, and willing to do anything for her.

HER HEART IS TORN. Though she’s ready for her crown, declaring herself queen means war. Caught between what she wants and what is right, Wilhelmina realizes the throne might not even matter. Everyone thought the wraith was years off, but already it’s destroying Indigo Kingdom villages. If she can’t protect both kingdoms, soon there won’t be a land to rule. (from Goodreads.com)

Burning Glass (Burning Glass #1) by Kathryn Purdie. Published by Katherine Tegen Books. Release Date: March 1, 2016.

buring glassSonya was born with the rare gift to feel what those around her feel—both physically and emotionally—a gift she’s kept hidden from the empire for seventeen long years. After a reckless mistake wipes out all the other girls with similar abilities, Sonya is hauled off to the palace and forced to serve the emperor as his sovereign Auraseer.

Tasked with sensing the intentions of would-be assassins, Sonya is under constant pressure to protect the emperor. One mistake, one small failure, will cost her own life and the lives of the few people left in the world who still trust her.

But Sonya’s power is untamed and reckless, her feelings easily usurped, and she sometimes can’t decipher when other people’s impulses end and her own begin. In a palace full of warring emotions and looming darkness, Sonya fears that the biggest danger to the empire may be herself.

As she struggles to wrangle her abilities, Sonya seeks refuge in her tenuous alliances with the volatile Emperor Valko and his idealistic younger brother, Anton, the crown prince. But when threats of revolution pit the two brothers against each other, Sonya must choose which brother to trust—and which to betray. (from Goodreads.com)

Reign of Shadows by Sophie Jordan. Published by HarperTeen. Release Date: February 9, 2016.

Reign-of-Shadows-cover Seventeen years ago, an eclipse cloaked the kingdom of Relhok in perpetual darkness. In the chaos, an evil chancellor murdered the king and queen and seized their throne. Luna, Relhok’s lost princess, has been hiding in a tower ever since. Luna’s survival depends on the world believing she is dead.

But that doesn’t stop Luna from wanting more. When she meets Fowler, a mysterious archer braving the woods outside her tower, Luna is drawn to him despite the risk. When the tower is attacked, Luna and Fowler escape together. But this world of darkness is more treacherous than Luna ever realized.

With every threat stacked against them, Luna and Fowler find solace in each other. But with secrets still unspoken between them, falling in love might be their most dangerous journey yet. (from Goodreads.com)